Brother of fatal hit and run victim from Rathcairn makes plea for information 25 years on

SALLY HARDING

The brother of a teenager who was killed in a hit-and-run outside Athboy 25 years ago has made a heartfelt plea for anyone with information in the locality to come forward so his family can have closure.

Páraic Coffey was just eighteen-years-old when he was killed in a fatal hit and run road traffic accident on the Athboy to Dunderry road on 9th June, 1996.

The young man from Rathcairn had been on his way home from Buck Mulligan’s nightclub in Athboy in the early hours of the morning when he was struck by a car that failed to stop.

Páraic, the son of Patrick and Judy Coffey and brother to Sean, Gerard, Caitriona and Cormac was seen between 2.30am and 3am in the town before he walked home along the Dunderry Road.

It was there Gardaí believe he was hit by a car and his body was discovered by a couple at 3.15am.

Despite a Garda investigation no one has ever been found responsible for his death.

Twenty-five years on Sean Coffey believes the key to the mystery of his brother’s unsolved death lies in the tight rural community in Rathcairn and is appealing for anyone with information to come forward.

“Twenty-five years has passed and we are no further on and we are getting frustrated,” he said.

“During the course of the investigations over the years there has been a person of interest, leads were followed and suspects were investigated but there wasn’t enough evidence to bring a charge.

“It is devastating; my parents have to drive past the spot where their son was killed everyday. Memories are all that they are left with, after all these years we need answers.

“It’s unnatural not to know how someone passes away, while knowing what happened might stir up immediate emotions in the long term it would bring a lot of comfort to my parents and to ourselves.”

Sean was in New York along with siblings Gerard and Caitriona when he received the devastating news of his brother’s death and says all he is hoping for is that anyone with information will come forward and help his family find peace.

Páraic as a youngster

“If anyone has information I’d appeal to their conscience, 25 years has passed, we were all very young back then, now many of us have families with children of our own.

“I’d ask them to look at their own son or daughter and question their conscience and what would they do if they knew somebody did that to their own flesh and blood.”

Sean describes what happened on the night that his younger brother lost his life.

“It was a Saturday night on 8th June, he went down to the club in Rathcairn for a pint after work, he had no real intention of going out but the craic was going and the lads said come on we will go into town.

“They had their night out and he was on his own at the end of the night and he started walking out the road, at that time taxis would have been in short supply and it wouldn’t have been unusual for any of us to walk home to Rathcairn from Athboy.

“He got as far as the green in Athboy which is the turn for the Dunderry road and someone hit him. Not long after a couple came by in a taxi and discovered him lying on the road.

“It has devastated not only my family but the whole community, it is a close knit community and he was a popular lad. It was tough on everyone. We have a large extended family to which we are very close so it had a huge impact.

“All three of us (brothers) were living in New York at the time and we were all out together that night came home to the house and there was a message on the answering machine. It was a devastating call to get. We got the first flight home.

“There are people out there that with information, I’m hoping that they will find it in their conscience to do what is right.”

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